Due Process

ASILEGAL has identified a series of systems and practices that represent an obstacle to basic rights such as access to justice and due process, in particular for indigenous persons. Some of the known impediments to these rights are as follows:

 

The abuse of precautionary measures

A large number of serious crimes that present irregularities of clear evidence, affecting the interests that should be protected

The public defender is part of the diverse and visible anomalies that lead to deficiencies in the proceedings.

 

These difficulties are further aggravated by the structural forces of inequality, and racial and religious prejudices that affect the members of indigenous communities when they are accused of crimes or victims of one, the moment in which they should face the judicial apparatus, they are already deemed guilty of criminal activities.

In the case of violations of human rights reported before public organisms and civil society organizations, there has been a particular pattern of procedural violations because of social and structural conditions, including:

 

Difficult access to a trial in their native language. This is an obstacle that automatically places the defendant or accused of committing a crime in a state of helplessness.

The investigating agencies are not sensitive to indigenous customs and therefore, the administration of justice is not compatible with the objectives of justice themselves. That is, there is a lack of recognition of structural differences resulting from the consciousness and cultural reality of indigenous communities . Authorities to procure and administer justice , commonly demand a certain level of knowledge and western standards , which prevents cultural reality of conceiving the customs , knowing that these differences result in discriminatory practices.

There is a use of the criminal justice system to criminalize social protest. Practice has become usual , specifically in legal proceedings against indigenous people , related to protests in opposition to certain projects, environmental protection or demand for human rights protection , etc. , which are manufactured and their behaviors are twisted to obtain guilty verdicts and long sentences.

  

In this way, ASILEGAL implements strategic litigation as a tool for the legal defense of indigenous victims of abuse of preventative detention, looks to guarantee the correct application of the law in line with international human rights standards, obtain changes in existing legislation to obtain respect of international human rights standards, internationally visibilize received complaints about abusive state practices and push public policy to the highest levels of international human rights standards.

At ASILEGAL, interdisciplinary work is essential for working on behalf of indigenous people in conflict with the law, which for their abandonment and vulnerability require prompt attention through comprehensive protection, ranging from legal to medical and psychological support for the detection of acts of torture and cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment acquiring different perspectives of a single problem.

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